Traveling via train is the optimal mode of public transportation you can go for if you’re touring a country and don’t have a car. We at offMetro love traveling by train. This is especially true if your train is on track and passes a lot of tourist destinations where you can see it on the window and take pictures of it. 

However, nowadays, train tickets are also increasing due to inflation. Luckily for us, there are tips that we can follow that allow us to save on train tickets just a little bit. And even luckier for you, we’ll discuss them in this article.

Book Early

If you want to have significant savings on train tickets, especially if you’re going for a premium, you should book at least 12 weeks early. For some journeys where companies estimate that train travel will be low on demand, they will sell out a limited number of tickets 12 weeks before travel time with a pretty hefty discount. If you plan a trip from London to Edinburgh, for example, luckily, there are a lot of sites where you can buy discounted tickets for Trains from London to Edinburgh – Rail Online, for example, is a reliable site that can help you lessen your ticket costs.

It’s similar to booking flights, where airlines sell discounted tickets early. However, you should note that most of the time, these tickets are just one-way, so if you want to save money on your return as well, we suggest buying two tickets. Don’t worry; those two tickets are probably cheaper than buying a two-way ticket a few days before your journey.

Avoid Peak Times

Fares can skyrocket through the roof if you buy them during peak times. For example, in London, the tickets usually go almost double when stations are busiest:

  • Early mornings
  • Late afternoon
  • Too early evening every day
  • Friday and Saturday mornings

Curious about the peak times in NYC? Check out the MTA site for more details. If you can’t book early on, buy a ticket at the station during off hours.

rail travel
Avoid peak times. Photo by Claudio Schwarz on

Split Ticketing

If you’re fond of buying a single ticket for multiple train journeys, you’re missing out on significant savings. What you can do instead is do what we call split ticketing. Basically, you’ll still take the same number of trains to your destination, but this time, instead of buying just one ticket, you can buy tickets at multiple stops along the way. 

Usually, travelers save up to 26% of their fares this way. Also, if you can buy your tickets online, you can look for discounts on each specific ticket, which means more savings for you.

Invest in a Railcard

Railcards allow you to save almost 40% on each of your fares. However, not all countries have this system. However, if you’re planning to go to one with a railcard system, like the UK, investing in one should be your priority if you’re planning to save money. However, note that the discount is usually based on age demographics, and usually, senior citizens and kids below a specific age can have, at most, 50% off on their fare.

Travel in Groups

If you plan to go to the same destination with your friends and family, then instead of having separate journeys, you can save more if all of you take the same trip together. Usually, buying tickets in bulk can save up to a third off for at least three adults and, at most, 9. Of course, the group should be traveling together. However, you can’t use your railcards for each ticket since they are bought in bulk.

You should also note that groups of more than nine people can still get discounts. However, you should contact the train company for those. You could also buy in bulk online; they usually have more discounts for bulk tickets. Chances are that you can also find off-peak group day travel cards if you plan to have a trip during the off-season. Aside from saving because of bulk buying, you save more money by traveling in the off-season.

Know Your Rights

Before going on a train trip with your friends and family, you should know your rights first. Of course, your rights regarding train travel depend on the country you’re going to, but usually, if the train is delayed by 15 minutes or more, you have the right to claim compensation. Usually, compensation comes in the form of a free ticket for the next train to the same destination or a refund if you decide not to go anymore. 

This is done by uploading the information about your ticket on the station’s website or the website which you got the ticket from. You can opt for other options if you don’t want compensation, like giving the train ticket to charity.

Final Words

Train ticket prices have been increasing significantly in the past few years, and there’s no better time than now to save on them, especially if you’re planning a trip across the country. Luckily, there are many for the traveler to save money on train tickets, just read the tips above. And with all that said, safe travels!

Want to read more of our latest posts? Check out these amazing places to visit in Chile – for your next South American adventure!